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Subject: Dealing with long thinkers - make them aware! rss

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Krzysztof Sikora
Australia
NSW
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Hi,

In my gaming group we have a particular person, let's call him Uwe, who takes ages to take his time. Uwe will usually wait till his turn to initiate any thinking process. He will consult with himself ("If I buy this technology, then I will buy the plasma cannon") or get easily distracted ("Did I already look at my phone?").

We tried all different methods to persuade Uwe to be more organised and hurry up - with no luck. We were thinking of limiting everyone's turn to couple of minutes, but it felt that there would be too much pressure which would ruin the fun.

The key to solving this issue was the fact that Uwe didn't know that he was much slower than the others ("I am faster than you. It must be a conspiracy against me, because I am winning!").

I have quickly hacked an app that simply measured the time of each player. Once the player finishes their turn their stopwatch stops and the stopwatch of the next player starts. "No pressure, you can take as long as you want, we will not make you finish your turn prematurely, but just have a look at the passing seconds."

We gave it a test run while playing Amerigo. The first round was not measured as everyone was warming up. After each of the consecutive rounds I was announcing the order of the players on the time scale.
Result?

- "Did you click next player? Isn't that my stopwatch running?" - we got his complete buy-in!
- "Hey, it is my turn now! Ask me about this once I finish." ("Uwe, is that you?")
- "I've told you I am not the slowest!" (the difference between the fastest and slowest players was 10%)

Can't wait to test it during Eclipse!

What do you think of this approach?

TL;DR: Measure the time of each player and make them aware that they are taking longer than others - they will accelerate.

Link to the app (I know using Unity was probably an overkill, but it was quick, multiplatform and I am learning it for my other projects):
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.siroak.boa...
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/board-games-stopwatch/id1120...
(in order to change the names or colors of the players you need to "long press")
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Kyle
Canada
Toronto
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10% difference between fastest and slowest is what I would certainly call negligible. Can you prove it wasn't such before your test .
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Krzysztof Sikora
Australia
NSW
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darthain wrote:
10% difference between fastest and slowest is what I would certainly call negligible. Can you prove it wasn't such before your test .


Haha, no I should have recorded all the begging and shouting which was happening before
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MURRUMBEENA
Victoria
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All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance... (Iain Banks)
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10% is nothing. We did this once a few years ago during a game of Tikal - never again! But IIRC:

Player 1 (taught the game the 2 & 3, made a salad between turns) ~ 10% of elapsed time
Player 2 (played once before, cooked a BBQ between turns ~ 25%
Player 3 (first time, helped with BBQ) ~ 20%
Player 4 (played at least ten times, got drinks for people) ~ 45%
When an experienced player takes as long as everyone else put together, that's an issue.

The problem with timers is that they make some people panic - we have a cube timer that has sat on the shelf for years because it detracts from gaming. YMMV.
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Krzysztof Sikora
Australia
NSW
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Ozludo wrote:


The problem with timers is that they make some people panic - we have a cube timer that has sat on the shelf for years because it detracts from gaming. YMMV.


The "count down" timers definitely make people panic - therefore I am proposing a "count up" one. There is no explicit penalty embedded in it - the only penalty is the self-imposed-feeling-bad kind of thing.
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Pablito A
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My phone plays the Jeopardy countdown music at the touch of the screen. I trigger it 30 of 40 times a night.... I even sing along since I am such a jolly fellow.

And I wonder why no one plays with me.
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Erin
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Murrumbeena
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Ozludo wrote:
10% is nothing. We did this once a few years ago during a game of Tikal - never again! But IIRC:

Player 1 (taught the game the 2 & 3, made a salad between turns) ~ 10% of elapsed time
Player 2 (played once before, cooked a BBQ between turns ~ 25%
Player 3 (first time, helped with BBQ) ~ 20%
Player 4 (played at least ten times, got drinks for people) ~ 45%

I was Player 4 shake but Ozludo is exaggerating a little - I'd only played Tikal 2 or 3 times before, and not for quite a while.

I'm well aware that my analysis paralysis is anti-social, but in my experience shouting and begging doesn't help one bit to speed up my decision making process - it just makes me anxious, and I can lose my train of thought. soblue

If I try to make quick decisions about my moves, on some occasions I've completely missed game-changing consequences that were obvious to the other players. That tends to result in shouting too, so I'm in a bit of a Catch-22 situation!

Maybe going back to using the game cube is the way to go for me.


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Trent Boardgamer
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Perth
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